Pakistan anti-terrorism court indicts 3 more suspects in case related to blast outside Hafiz Saeed’s house

Published - September 29, 2022 05:57 pm IST - Lahore

Hafiz Muhammad Saeed. File

Hafiz Muhammad Saeed. File | Photo Credit: Reuters

,An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan has indicted three more suspects in a car bomb blast outside the 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind and JuD chief Hafiz Saeed’s house in Lahore last year that killed three people, an official said on September 29.

“The prosecutors of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of Punjab Police declared the suspects — Samiul Haq [mastermind] Aziz Akbar and Naveed Akhtar [facilitators] — guilty before the court,” a CTD official told PTI.

He said the suspects, who were brought amid tight security, pleaded not guilty before the court.

The official said the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Lahore directed the prosecution to present witnesses before it on October 4.

In January, the ATC had sentenced four suspects — Eid Gul (activist of banned Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan), Peter Paul David, Sajjad Shah and Ziaullah — to death on nine counts.

The court had also handed down five years imprisonment to a woman, identified as Ayesha Bibi, during the in-camera trial proceedings at the high-security Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore.

The prosecution had presented 56 witnesses against these five convicts.

Three people were killed and over 20 others injured in the blast outside Saeed’s Jauhar town residence in Lahore on June 23, 2021 that also damaged a number of houses, shops and vehicles in the area.

According to the CTD, TTP’s Eid Gul had installed explosives in the car used in the blast. The car belonged to Peter Paul David and other three — Sajjad Shah, Ziaullah and Ayesha — were facilitators.

Saeed, chief of the banned Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) has been serving jail sentence at the Kot Lakhpat Jail Lahore for his conviction in terror financing cases. There were unconfirmed reports that Saeed was present at his house when the blast took place.

The 71-year-old radical cleric and a U.N.-designated terrorist, whom the U.S. has placed a $10 million bounty on, has been convicted for over 68 years imprisonment in multiple terror financing cases moved by the ATC. His punishment is running concurrently.

Saeed-led JuD is the front organisation for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) which is responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people, including six Americans.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has designated Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. He was listed under the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1267 in December 2008.

The global terror financing watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is instrumental in pushing Pakistan to take measures against terrorists roaming freely in the country and using its territory to carry out attacks in India.

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